Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac want lenders to act within 30 days of getting a short sale offer.

The short sale process could get a lot quicker starting this summer under new rules that will require lenders to respond to offers within a month.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s two largest mortgage backers, will implement the guidelines on June 15. The changes require mortgage servicers to make a decision within 30 days of receiving a short sale offer. They also must consider requests for pre-approved short sales within that same timeframe.

If the lender needs more than 30 days, it must give borrowers weekly status updates and a decision within 60 days of the initial application. This extension gives lenders more time to determine the value of the property or to get the approval of a mortgage insurer.

The moves are aimed at streamlining the short sale process, which often takes months to complete. Faster response times could help thousands of local homeowners. During March, there were 4,084 short sale listings in the Twin Cities area.

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Soon, those short sales won’t take quite so long